Johnnyswim, the Musical Duo Behind the "Fixer Upper" Theme Song, Are Real-Life BFFs With Chip and Jo Gaines

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Instagram / Joanna Gaines
Photo credit: Instagram / Joanna Gaines

From House Beautiful

If you haven't heard the good news, Chip and Joanna Gaines are returning to TV with their own network, Magnolia TV. The network, currently the DIY network, was supposed to officially switch over to Magnolia TV in October 2020, but was postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus. However, this roadblock hasn't stopped Chip and Jo from sharing details about their newest venture—like the fact that Jo will have her own cooking show. On Sunday, during a special four-hour program on DIY Network, the couple even revealed the current show line-up for Magnolia TV. Of the 10 series mentioned, we're super hyped for Home on the Road. Why exactly? Because it's all about Chip and Jo's incredibly musically-talented friends.

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What will Home on the Road be about?

Home on the Road will follow husband and wife folk-pop duo Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, who make up the band Johnnyswim. If you've ever watched Fixer Upper, you're already familiar with their music as the Fixer Upper theme song (titled "Home") is by Johnnyswim. This series will follow the band's life on the road with their two children in tow and baby number three on the way.

In an exclusive interview with People, Ramirez and Sudano opened up about how their lives are far from normal. "We really believe that what we do is kind of crazy," Ramirez says. "We’re not just a married couple where one of us tours — it’s our whole family. People always ask us how we do it, and I think this show will give them the answer."

But besides giving viewers at home a look into their life, Sudano, whose mother happens to be the late Donna Summers, hopes this show will inspire folks to chase their dreams. "I hope that what people see is that you can love what you do, and you can bring your kids along,” she says. "You can bring people you love along with the dreams that you have, and not sacrifice one for the other."

What were the difficulties of filming Home on the Road?

While getting your own TV show seems like a dream, filming Home on the Road wasn't all fun and games for Ramirez and Sudano. One week prior to filming, Sudano found out she was pregnant with her third child. “On top of the difficulty of touring all the time, raising kids and filming in a tiny tour bus, we also decided to get pregnant at the beginning,” Sudano tells People. “So, we just decided to throw in a very exhausted pregnant woman who needs to snack and pee every 40 minutes or so," she says. Ramirez adds that the cameras captured everything from the couple telling their band manager the news, to telling their own families.

However, Ramirez and Sudano were comforted knowing that Chip and Jo had their backs during all this. "Because touring is the foundation of our life, it took an intimate relationship like the one we have with Chip and Jo to trust the team to come in, put cameras in our faces, and let our life now become a performance,” Ramirez says.

How did Chip and Joanna meet Abner and Amanda?

The two families first interacted when Joanna asked the couple if they would be open to performing on the first season of Fixer Upper as a surprise for Chip’s birthday. Ramirez and Sudano turned down that offer, claiming they were busy and were unfamiliar with the HGTV show. But while the couple was celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with Ramirez's family, his mom brought up Fixer Upper. "You’re going to love this show, love these people," she said to the couple. "And, all of a sudden, we’re like, ‘Oh, that’s the couple that asked us to come perform,'" Sudano says.

In fact, Ramirez's mother ended up pleading with the couple to take advantage of any opportunity Chip and Joanna had for them. "So we did, and as soon as we started talking to them, we knew that they were kindred spirits," Sudano says. Soon, the couples became “like family,” and the Ramirezes knew that they had found lifelong friends. Not to mention that Chip Gaines revealed that his fifth child was conceived after seeing a Johnnyswim concert in Waco.

How did Chip Gaines ask Johnnyswim to do a show on Magnolia TV?

By this point, the two families had been friends for half a decade. No official business meeting was needed to pop this question. While Chip was telling Ramirez about the Magnolia TV network that he and Joanna now owned, he casually said "Man, I was just wondering if you guys would trust us to make a show with you about this crazy thing that you guys do: making music and making a life together while making babies." It wasn't a hard decision for the Ramirez and Sudano. "We said yes, and here we are!" says Sudano.



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